Just 10 Irish have managed naturalised British citizenship since 2004

It seems Gregory Campbell of the DUP’s campaign for the rights of the Irish who are culturally British is needed more than ever following the news that just 10 people born in the Irish Republic but now living in Northern Ireland have managed (subs needed) to obtain naturalised British citizenship since 2004. Either that or it was never needed in the first place.According to the figures published in the Irish News, 628 people have applied for naturalisation in Northern Ireland since citizenship ceremonies were first introduced at the beginning of 2004, with 10 of them coming from the Irish Republic. The majority originate from India, followed by the Philippines and China.

The ceremonies are held in Hillsborough Castle and are conducted by a Lord Lieutenant. New citizens are obliged to swear an oath of loyalty to the Queen or alternatively, pledge to be a good citizen of the country.

Despite just 3 Irish people a year looking for British naturalisation Campbell is on record as saying he believes “there are thousands who want this” but are somehow held back by all the red tape. But does his claim, which he repeats on an almost annual basis without ever providing any evidence, stand up to scrutiny?

Let’s look at what you need to apply to become a naturalised British citizen:

– You must be aged 18 or over and are not of unsound mind.

– You must be of good character.

– You should be able to communicate in the English language (or Welsh or Scottish Gaelic). There are exemptions to this requirement, for example if you are elderly or mentally handicapped.

– You should intend to live in the UK or in Crown Service abroad (working directly for an UK Government organisation), or be employed by an international organisation of which the UK is a member, or be employed by a company or association established in the United Kingdom

None of these seem to pose any great problem for your average southerner who has decided to make a life north of the border. So now let’s see what are the residence requirements:

– You must have been living in the UK exactly five years before the date the application reaches the Home Office; and

– During the five-year period you must not have been outside the United Kingdom for more than 450 days (about 15 months); and

– During the last 12 months of the five-year period you must not have been outside the UK for more than 90 days; and

– During the last 12 months of the five-year period your stay in the United Kingdom you must have held permanent residence/ indefinite leave to remain (ILR); and

– You must not have been living in the United Kingdom in breach of the UK immigration rules at any time during the five-year period ending with the date that the application is received by the Home Office.

Campbell seems to think this process is so convoluted that many Irish who are culturally British have given up.

But once again, there doesn’t appear to be anything in the requirements that would prevent those Irish who are culturally British “but just happen to have been born on the wrong side of the border,” as Campbell describes them, from succeeding.

  • seabhac siúlach

    It’s just more of that type of Ulster-Scots malarky, i.e., invent an equivalent to something the other side has (even if, as in the case of Ulster-Scots, you basically have to invent it from scratch) so that there can be some sort of parity of ‘esteem’…i.e., equal whinging rights.

    Does this sort of thing pass as politics in the six counties? Delusional…

    …in any case, what southerner in their right mind would want to be a naturalised UK citizen. What would be the advantage? Who, apart from those in the Reform party would want to do this?

  • Aaron McDaid

    “just happen to have been born on the wrong side of the border”

    If that’s the case, why does Campbell require they move to NI? Is he saying these people only “discover” their Britishness after moving to NI?

    i.e. Why doesn’t he push for this right to be available to all those culturally British (whatever that is) regardless of where they were born, or where they live now? I suppose the answer is related to how the 6 county Unionists happily abandoned the Unionists throughout this island, and they now deny their existence in order to avoid this embarassing bit of their history.

  • now now boys,just let those dup members born south of the border play their little games if they want to,all 10 of them.

  • Rory

    Surely any Irish citizen who applied for British citizenship would automatically disqualify himself by virtue of his very application on the basis of the first precondition for application i.e. that he was “..not of unsound mind”. What Irishman in his right mind….?

  • Valenciano

    “…in any case, what southerner in their right mind would want to be a naturalised UK citizen. What would be the advantage?”

    AFAIK you needed to have UK citizenship if you wished to work in a civil service job?? Don’t know if this is still the case or not?

  • Greenflag

    Valenciano,

    ‘AFAIK you needed to have UK citizenship if you wished to work in a civil service job??’

    Not true Valenciano . At least that provision does not apply to citizens of the Irish Republic except most likely for very top level security jobs where they would I’m sure have to be British subjects by birth or naturalisation.

  • Valenciano

    Greenflag, it seems that the prohibition applies to selected jobs see this link to the recent House of Lords Debate.

    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/lords/?id=2007-02-21a.1136.4

    >> “Moreover, additional restrictions have had to be placed on the nationality of those who can be appointed to “public service” posts. Until 1 June 1996 these posts were also open to Irish citizens on the grounds that they were not statutorily barred from employment in any post in the Civil Service. However, the rules were changed on that date by amending the Civil Service management code to exclude all future new entrant Irish nationals from employment in these posts. This was done to ensure that Irish nationals were treated in the same way as nationals of other EU member states as regards access to Civil Service posts…

    For example, one category requires, without qualification, that all posts which are concerned with revenue collection and assessment should be reserved for UK nationals. One effect of this is that Irish and other EEA nationals who enter HM Revenue and Customs at an administrative level are prevented from taking up a promotion within the department as the more senior post is reserved for UK nationals only.” <

  • Greenflag

    Up the airy mountain
    Down the rushy glen
    Greg Campbell goes a hunting
    For would be British men

    But up or down the mountain
    Or in or out the glen
    Instead of finding thousands
    Poor Greg found only ten

    But down upon Republic’s shore
    Many Brits have made their home
    And they’re making lots of euros
    And pay their mortgage loan.

    So march up the airy mountain
    Or march down with Paisley’s men
    Poor Greg won’t find his crock of gold
    In any Northern Glen

    For Free State Fenians found that crock
    And put it to good use
    While Greg & Co and Paisley too
    Were playing being obtuse .

    With apologies to William Allingham

  • Greenflag

    Valenciano,

    Makes sense to me . I wonder if the Republic reciprocates -probably .

  • DC

    I think equal citizenship rights across the island is a very welcome idea, and a logical outworking of the current process.

    The traditions of Nationalism and Unionism are the shared birthright of all on the island. Nationalist and Unionist (Irish & British) identities should be respected equally, right across the island.

  • Yoda

    The traditions of Nationalism and Unionism are the shared birthright of all on the island. Nationalist and Unionist (Irish & British) identities should be respected equally, right across the island.

    Will the UK respond in kind?

    The fuck it will.

    Have a think about why.

  • Nevin

    Citizenship ceremonies in Northern Ireland

    “Citizenship ceremonies were introduced on 1 January 2004. Between that date and 25 February 2007, 628 people have attended a citizenship ceremony in Northern Ireland and have become British citizens.” [10 from the RoI/Ireland]

  • DK

    Can you get Irish citizenship if you live in Northern Ireland, but weren’t born there?

  • Mark

    “Can you get Irish citizenship if you live in Northern Ireland, but weren’t born there?”

    No.

  • páid

    I think this might have a lot to do with Mrs Gregory Campbell, a Donegal Prod if I remember correctly.

    I suspect that she once regarded herself (with good reason), as an Ulster Protestant, Irish and British.

    This may have upset Greg.

  • Mark

    Being a southern Protestant myself, I’m fully supportive of the idea. Though why not cast a wider net to include the whole island?

  • Mark on Mar 06, 2007 @ 11:23 PM wrote ”

    “Can you get Irish citizenship if you live in Northern Ireland, but weren’t born there?”

    No. ”

    I thought that you could if you could prove that one of your parents was born in the 32 cos. Therefore the issue is not where you live or were born but if you can prove that one of your parents was born there… therefore this leaves the door open to a huge number – see Bunreacht na hEireann, Art 9, 2, 1.

    Mark, let me know and are you a legal eagle (I’m not, obviously)?

    (I think the football rule relates to one’s grandparents (Steve Bruce’s son) altho it isn’t strictly enforced – see Cascarino !??!

  • Pádraigín Drinan

    Mark at 14.
    There are a number of circumstances where a person not born in Northern Ireland can acquire Irish citizenship.
    For example, if a person is married to someone born on the island of Ireland, under certain conditions they can acquire Irish citizenship.
    There are conditions to fulfil, but it is possible.

  • Mark

    Yes of course. Sorry. I just answered the question without thinking wider. Having a parent or grandparent born on the island or having a part with Irish citizenship gives you the right to an Irish passport. Being married to an Irish citizen and I’m sure there is also a “naturalisation” process somewhere too

  • merrie

    afaik if you have one Irish grandparent you are eligible to get Irish citizenship. You can be born anywhere in the world.

    Has this law changed recently?

  • Nevin

    “Prior to its axing in 1998, the passport-for-sale scheme allowed wealthy foreigners to “buy” Irish passports by making investments here that secured or created jobs.

    The scheme was attractive to foreign millionaires for tax reasons or because it allowed people living in unstable regions of the world to get what was in effect citizenship of the EU.

    About pounds 20 million sterling was reputed to have been promised for the Mahfouz passports.

    The citizenship papers are understood to have been signed off by Burke in his home on a Saturday night.

    It is claimed the eight passports were personally handed over by Mr Haughey during a meal in the Shelbourne Hotel.” … Sunday Mirror, Dec 9, 2001.

    Money, money, money ….

  • Tochais Síoraí

    To go off the point a bit, are there any current Unionist politicians who originally came from the Republic or whose parents did (the only one I know of is Jim Kilfedder)?

  • darth rumsfeld

    Jim Allister’s folks are from County Monaghan

  • darth rumsfeld

    “It’s just more of that type of Ulster-Scots malarky, i.e., invent an equivalent to something the other side has (even if, as in the case of Ulster-Scots, you basically have to invent it from scratch) so that there can be some sort of parity of ‘esteem’…i.e., equal whinging rights.”

    ..typical ignorance from serial sub-troll. Ulster Scots societies have been in existence since the 19th century in USA. People who would run a mile from Unionist politics have been ploughing the language furrow for decades. Unless there’s a secret orange Lodge in Brussels, the eurocrats seem to recognise it a legitimate minority language too. Recent efforts of Laird Lord and others may give rise to questions about politicians jumping on bandwagons but the validity of U-S is undeniable to openminded people.

    As for inventions, the Irish language was as politically exploited in the 19th century as the Ulster Scots in the 20th, yet unless parity of esteem is a one way street, the validity of Irish is not seriously queried- not even by sammy Wilson in belfast city Council

  • DK

    ““Can you get Irish citizenship if you live in Northern Ireland, but weren’t born there?”

    No. “

    I thought that you could if you could prove that one of your parents was born in the 32 cos.”

    No luck there, but I am married to an irish passport holder born in Belfast. Does that count?

  • George

    DK,
    “No luck there, but I am married to an irish passport holder born in Belfast. Does that count?”

    It does. You can apply to become a naturalised citizen.

    You need:

    – to have resided on the island of Ireland for 3 years out of the last 5 years

    – to show that you and your Irish citizen spouse must be validly married to each other for at least three years and living together as husband and wife

    – the usual good conduct and swearing an oath of loyalty and fidelity to the Irish State.

    For those not married to Irish citizens, residence must be in the Irish Republic.

  • Greenflag

    ‘but I am married to an irish passport holder born in Belfast. Does that count? ‘

    Yes . You may have to apply for Irish citizenship depending on the date of your marriage . The Republic’s law was changed a few years ago to curtail the number of fraudulent marriages being arranged betwen Irish citizens/holders of Irish passports and foreigners in order for the latter to get rights to work and live in the Republic .

    You’ll need evidence documentary evidence – copy of marriage license and proof that you and your husband/wife actually live together .

    The Irish Embassy in your country of origin can help you or you contact the authorities in Dublin . They’ll send you the necessary papers .

  • DK

    Thanks – when my British passport expires I now have an option. Maybe I’ll become Irish, if the price is right. Otherwise it’ll be another period in chains as a subject of her Brittanic majesty for me.

  • Pádraigín Drinan

    To DK at 25, Yes.
    Applications are relatively simple.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Otherwise it’ll be another period in chains as a subject of her Brittanic majesty for me. ‘

    My heart bleeds for you 🙂

    Unionists of the world unite you have nothing to lose but your chains 🙂

    ‘Maybe I’ll become Irish, if the price is right.’

    Selling your birthright for a mess of pottage. A mere matter of principal oer principle . Another mammom worshipping gobshite bejayzus . There’s too many of us around these days . God be with the days when there was only meself and a few other skeptics around 🙁

    BTW – Your First Ayatollah in waiting would not approve 🙂 He did’nt lead the ‘chosen people’ in circles around the NI political desert for 40 years just so as he could share power with Martin McGuinness . Did he ?

  • Johny

    One of the Royal Victoria nurses has a British son as he was born in Belfast but Irish daughters as they were born outside the UK.

  • Greágóir O’ Frainclín

    darth rumsfeld…There is a now a new empasis on the word ‘Ulster- Scots’ rather than ‘Scots-Irish’. These is Unionists attempts of furthering themselves from any association with being Irish. In times past such as the 19th as you said, the term ‘Scots-Irish’ was more familar.

  • darth rumsfeld

    quite right greagoir, and we have to ask why. Unionists were quite happy to be called Irish 120 years ago. Could it be that those who have appropriated the right to define irishness have aqlienated others who don’t fit within the former’s definition?

  • Greágóir O’ Frainclín

    True darth and understandable given the past Troubles, but also it can be said too that Unionists have somewhat relinquished their ‘Irishness’ by distancing themselves; ever furthering themselves, for should they entertain such thoughts they may lose themselves and the dreaded united Ireland may rear its head. I aways find it amusing the way Unionists will descrbe themselves as British first, from Ulster second and then Northern Irish. The word ‘Irish’ reduced to an unspeakable swear word of sorts in some cases. And there is always a heavy emphasis on being British, which of course Unionists are, first and foremost.
    But maybe Unionists should embrace a little bit of ‘Irishness’,instead of creating modern myths about the past. Afterall, they are of the island of Ireland. Remember too and rest assure, that there will be no united Ireland without the consent of all the people in NI. Or is it an ever underlying psychological fear that such a dalliance with ‘Irishness’ may dilute Unionist principles and the Union.

  • #

    To go off the point a bit, are there any current Unionist politicians who originally came from the Republic or whose parents did (the only one I know of is Jim Kilfedder)?
    Posted by Tochais Síoraí on Mar 07, 2007 @ 10:02 AM

    I remember reading that Peter Robinson has an aunt still living as far as I know in county Tipperary. He’s even been down to visit her on a few occasions. I remember that he toured the whole island with his wife when they were younger. I also think that David Trimble has some southern background and he spent his honeymoon in the Republic. Reg Empey also mentioned that he has relatives in County Louth.

    Maybe someone can confirm the veracity of these claims.

  • Realtsiobadh

    Maybe someone can help me with this question. I’m a northern person of loosely Protestant background who has Irish citizenship (that is, an Irish passport). Born in te North, does British citizenship follow me around forever, whether I want it or not? Is there an opt-out and if so, do I lose access to anything? I’ve been living on both sides of the border and in Britain and I can’t really see that I’m prevented from doing anything as a European citizen.

  • Greágóir O’ Frainclín

    I think Unionists should emphasise these family connections and links with the south of Ireland more. It would end that horrible stark seperatist mentality that exists. The south is not the ‘papist state’ it was once believed to be. We have may protestants in public life; politicians, journalists, entertainers etc…and there is no issue with religion at all.

    To repeat, there will be no united Ireland without the consent of all the people in NI, Unionist rest assure.

  • Greenflag

    Corkman ,

    ‘Maybe someone can confirm the veracity of these claims.’

    Why would anybody want to ? Surely these are private family matters for the above people named . No business of anybody else I’d say!

  • Greenflag

    DR ‘Could it be that those who have appropriated the right to define irishness have alienated others who don’t fit within the former’s definition? ‘

    True to at least an extent . ‘Alienation’ on this island has never been just one way as the following sequence shows. Alienation of the Irish from the UK political set up (1801 to 1922). Alienation of Northern Nationalists from the Northern Ireland political set up (1920 and ongoing). Alienation of the Unionists from the Irish Republic /Free State set up (1922 and ongoing).

    Seems to me that the only way to get rid of ‘alienation’ is to accept the political and demographic facts of the divide within Northern Ireland and move forward to a peaceful and practical agreed repartition of Northern Ireland. This way the number of those ‘alienated’ from the political entity in which they live will be reduced from a ‘potential’ 900,000 alienated Unionists in a United Ireland, and from an ‘actual’ 700,000 alienated Northern Nationalists in the present 6 county NI State, to a much smaller manageable 200,000 (combined alienated total of Unionists and Nationalists) in the two States -after a fair repartition of Northern Ireland . In the enlarged Republic there would be a ‘new ‘ alienated minority of 100,000 Northern Unionists who would make up about 2% of the total population or less even than the present number of Polish immigrants in the Republic. These ‘new’ Unionists would make up about one quarter to one fifth of the Republic’s ‘immigrant population’ .In a smaller Northern Ireland the Nationalist minority of 100,000 would be about 12% of the total new Unionist State’s population. This minority will in all probability be outnumbered by the total of ‘foreign ‘ immigrants into the smaller NI State over the course of the next decade or two.

    As both ‘new ‘minorities would continue to have dual citizenship as between Britain and Ireland and would also have rights as Europeans within the EU they would in time have the best of both worlds or should that be three worlds .

    A much better prospect anyway than that for those who continually dream of a UI which may never come or those Unionists who dream of a return to 1965 .

  • The Pict

    In the 18th Century the term Irish meant a Highlander, in the 19th one of the landed, and thus protestant, ascendancy.

  • Greenflag

    Pict,

    In the 18th Century the term Irish meant a Highlander,

    True and at the same time a Scot was termed a North Briton

    ‘in the 19th one of the landed, and thus protestant, ascendancy. ‘

    I would have thought the term Anglo Irish would have commonly used in the 19th century ?

    No matter -We are now in the 21st century and even the lowlanders of the central plain those dour , depressed Westmeath and Offaly swamp dwellers go by the name of Irish as do the ‘highlanders’ of Tyrone and Donegal !

    BTW , If I had 10 picts with shovels I could build a nice back drain on the lower acre 🙂

  • Greenflag

    Addendum to ‘Alienation ‘ post

    Of course as a logical follow on from the new situation post Repartition both new ‘minorities’ would of course continue to enjoy ‘alienation’ as their inherited ‘birthright .But as they would number less than the foreign ‘immigrant’ population in both States they would now have real competition from real ‘aliens’ i.e people who speak Chinese , Polish, Lithuanian, Latvian etc etc etc . Alienation like everything else would take on a ‘relativity’ profile . Ph D students of sociology would have an endless supply of comparative studies to research?

    Imagine such research papers titled

    ‘The Alienation of former Northern Unionists in the Republic as compared to the alienation of recent Latvian immigrants ‘ or

    ‘A multidisciplinary approach to the alienation of former Northern Ireland Nationalists in the new Unionist State as compared to the alienation of recent Chinese/Indian /Portuguese immigrants .

    Enough to keep all Sociology Departments on both sides of a new border happily busy for another 100 years at least 🙂

  • The Pict

    “I would have thought the term Anglo Irish would have commonly used in the 19th century ?”

    Well you would have thought incorrectly, as I initially did.

    Read a history of the Guinness family by one of the members of the family.

    Should be in the Linenhall Library.

  • Ulster McNulty

    “In the 18th Century the term Irish meant a Highlander,

    True and at the same time a Scot was termed a North Briton”

    It also being the case that in the first millenium AD the Scots were the Irish and vice versa – would it not be appropriate to refer to the Ulster-Scots / Scotch-Irish as the Ulster-Irish-Irish-Irish? Just so’s we can be clear who we are talking about.